Jeremy Heit's Blog
Saturday, July 26, 2003
 
I got up extremely late and I'm gonna do my article for today tomorrow...

The Mets won, Leiter pitched well... Reyes is hitting well, though his OBP stinks.

Thanks to David Bloom for the article mention.

And finally, while I was poking around Baseball Reference, I looked at the OPS+ leaders. I'm one who doesn't particulary like Barry Bonds, but understands how great he is. Then I saw this...

2002 NL- Barry Bonds 275 OPS+
2002 AL- Jim Thome 191 OPS+

That's a difference of 84! That's a record. The next biggest is Babe Ruth with a 68 point difference in 1920. (Of course, I'm doing this with the naked eye) That's just amazing. The next closest in the NL was Brian Giles (read about how good of a hitter he is here) with a 173 OPS+. He beat the next closest person in his league by 102! That's just insane. George Sisler at 181 was the closest to Ruth in his league and Ruth only beat him by 74 (Yeah I know... only 74). The point? Barry Bonds is good. Real good.

Friday, July 25, 2003
 
I got an E-mail last night from David Bloom over at D-Rays Blog with a few comments and questions. I answered the E-mail but I'd like to take out a few of the questions and post my answers here.

Whats your take on the Piazza situation. Will they move him or will they work in Both Piazza and Phillips at both Catcher and 1B?

I think the Mets will play him at catcher the rest of the year hoping he gets the HR record. After that, they'll teach him first in spring training. Apparently, the Mets aren't thrilled with Phillips behind the plate defensively, though most scouts say he's just as good as Vance Wilson. I see Piazza at first and Phillips behind the plate with Wilson backing up. Phillips will probably get 1 to 2 starts a week at 1st.

My personal opinion is that after the year they should trade him to a team that wants a DH. His contract runs out after 2005 and the money aspect might be hard to move, but mattering on the team, they should be willing to pay part of it off, especially if they can get a very good bunch of prospects back.

Whats your take on the recent deals. I like the Whitesox one, but was disapointed with Burnitz & Benetiz deals. Thurston would of looked nice. Now Mets have nothing at 2B.

I was very happy with the White Sox's one. The thing with the Benitez one is that you couldn't wait to make the deal to put more pressure on teams to give up more to you because if he self-destructed one more time, the market for him would have been dead. I think Jason Anderson is extremely underrated too, especially if he could be a back of the rotation starter. He has some good stuff. On the other hand, the Mets probably should have waited on Burnitz, seeing if they could get KC (or someone else) interested (especially since Juan Gone went on the DL). Apparently, KC is going after Ron-DL White now. I'm sure they would much rather have Burnitz. As for 2B, if Diaz can hit and play third, Wigginton could always move back to 2B his natural position. Also, Danny Garcia at second might not be a bad option and Marco Scutaro, who will probably end up a utitlity man, should also get a shot.

It will be interesting to see if the GM stays...

So far I think Duquette has done an admirable job and has helped the farm system. They are really locked up in the pitching department. I think they should wait till next year to trade Trachsel in the last year of his contract. Hoping that he pitches well, you can get more for a guy in the last year of his contract. Unfortunately, Glavine is locked up for 3 more years (A move I was personally adamantly against). Leiter probably can't get dealt this year, but next year is a possibly with him being in his last year. They have Heilmann and Seo. If they can develop another minor-league pitcher or get a prospect via trade, they could sign one good young free agent and get a semi-veteran to lead the staff (Like when the Yankees signed Mussina. Someone around that age). That gives them the veteran, young pitcher, Heilmann, Seo, prospect. What to do with Glavine?

1. Attempt trade
2. Move to bullpen. If closer options don't pan out, make him one. Otherwise, he'd be a good set-up man.
3. Eat the contract and dump him. Probably not gonna happen, but he isn't part of the future and is around until after the 2006 season.

Anyway, I'm ranting. The starting pitching staff is a mess and the relievers he can get all from the minors basically. The position players look good. Wilson/Phillips/Garcia/Reyes/Wigginton/Duncan could be filling six positions. I'd be willing to go for Vlad Guerrero this offseason and get an OF in another one of the trades for 2005. Anyway, Jim deserves a shot at the job and if he does it right, this could be a competitive team for 2005.

Doing this also saves me the "what I would do over the next couple of years column" and the Mike Piazza to first base column. Speaking of that, The Eddie Kranepool Society has an article up today on such things as Piazza and some future moves.

I know my view on Glavine is probably a little extreme, but he's not part of the future at all. Also, I don't believe Cliff Floyd is either because his bad knees won't hold up playing the OF. He's needs to be a DH too.

Now on to some non-Mets stuff...

The trade deadline is looming and many names have been thrown around. There are big name guys like Brian Giles (who by the way is not getting traded and if the Pirates do that deal to the Padres where they throw in him and Kendall to dump the money and only get decent prospects, they are making a mistake. They should have to get an amazing package to deal Giles.) being thrown around in trade talks. Then, there are guys like J. D. Drew, who most teams are asking for from the Cardinals for a starting pitcher. J.D. Drew, number one pick of the Phillies that they couldn't sign, was hyped as being someone who could be great. Now in limited time his career numbers are .282/.377/.499 for an OPS of .876. He would average 26 HR's a year. But I said limited... that's the problem. This guy plays (using 99-02) an average of 120 games a year and has 394 AB's a season. He's been injury prone over his career and has never had a chance to show his greatness. A trade would probably be good for him because the Cardinals seem to have taken him out of their plans a little (Eduardo Perez is not great, but they seem to platoon even when Drew is healthy...) and I think he feels too much pressure to prove himself there (though they could move Pulojs to first when Tino leaves and J.D. would fit nicely in the OF). The rumor going around with him for Kelvim Escobar would be bad, as Toronto has enough OF's. But then. J.P. might help out his buddy Billy and trade him to Oakland, who desperately needs OF's and hitting. If he can be healthy, that might be a better fit.

Another rumor involving J.P. and his buddy Billy is Kelvim Escobar for Ted Lilly. They have both thrown around names of prospects they also want in this deal and those phone conversations must be funny. Anyway, I always thought Ted Lilly would make the Oakland rotation the Big Four. Now it is the Big Four, but that is because of Rich Harden. When I heard about Harden coming into the season, I thought Oakland would have a Number 2 or very good Number 3 starter in Ted Lilly as their number 5. Instead, Lilly's had a tough year....

2003- 110.1 IP, 5-8, 5.22 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, .262 BAA, 116 H, 1.63 HR/9 (20), 3.26 BB/9 (40), 6.94 K/9 (85), 2.125 K/BB
Career before 2003- 252.3 IP, 10-14, 4.92 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, .254 BAA (this includes 2003), 244 H, 1.53 HR/9 (43), 3.42 BB/9 (96), 8.13 K/9 (228), 2.375 K/BB

Or maybe he's never been that good. The only number that is significantly different is the K/9, which has dropped 1 this year. Maybe I overrated him, but I still think he has good stuff and would be a fine fourth or fifth starter on Oakland (though apparently he's been hardheaded there) and I still think he's got second or third starter capability, though he is 27, which means he's got figure it out soon.

Well, that was a lot of different subjects and I probably could have saved some of them for a different day. Oh well, I'm sure I'll have something tomorrow.

EDIT at 6:50 PM- I just noticed that I misspelled David's site name when I put up the link... myweprotals instead of mewebportals. It's fixed now, sorry to those who tried to click the link.

Thursday, July 24, 2003
 
Mets lose 5-2 to the Expos: Jae Seo, doing his best Tom Glavine first inning impersonation, gave up 5 runs in the first. He's 0-5 with a 8.19 ERA in his last 6 starts. Bright spot (I guess) is Jason Phillips having his hitting streak extended to 11 games.

I did have an article (non-Mets) to type, but unfortunately I don't have the time today. So, if need some baseball reading, go click on the links on the side and enjoy them. I'll be back tomorrow with something.

Wednesday, July 23, 2003
 
Today's link added to the side would be Replacement Level Yankees Blog, a blog about well, the Yankees. Insightful, interesting, and often negative writing about the Yankees (just how I like to do it with the Mets). And well, the "Hey, It's free!" at the top of the site is funny.

Before I get to some Mets news and notes, I'd like to point out now that my blog has been around for exactly one month. And well, I would just like to say that I was shocked by how welcoming the whole baseball blogging community is and by the fact that I got 600 hits in the first month. I would have been happy with half of that and it means that I actually have people who like to read my site daily. It's fun to have an audience of readers to write to, especially when they enjoy your work. I hope that everyone reading now keeps coming back and that my audience can hopefully get bigger in the future. (I also plan to write more about other baseball stuff that doesn't have to do with the Mets) All comments from other bloggers about my site have been great and if you've been reading and have a link I don't know about, tell me, I'd love to take a look. And I'm actually starting to get e-mails, which I love to see to get comments about my stuff from other people or get information I didn't even know (I'll get to that in a paragraph or two.)

Special thanks goes out to Aaron's Baseball Blog, who by just putting my link at the end of one of his articles got me my biggest day with 80 hits, the whole entire Mets' blogging community, especially Shea Daily, who noticed my Ques-Tech article and helped me out a lot, Baseball News Blog, who put my article about Brian Giles up on the site and provides great articles to read every day, and Rich's Weekend Baseball BEAT, who beat me to this one month thanking of the baseball blogging community. Thanks to him for putting up my link on his site and the nice e-mail he sent me.

Go check out those and the rest of the blogs on the sidebar for some good baseball reading.

The Mets won 7-5 yesterday in a extremely (4 hours) long game. The Mets bullpen made it interesting again, but they won. John Franco got pulled with two outs in the ninth for Dan Wheeler, showing that Art Howe actually has some toughness to him. John Franco was not pleased, but it was the right move.

More impressive to me was Jeff Duncan, who has been magnificent so far in the majors. He's fast (3 SB) and plays good CF defense. He's patient at the plate, which is shown by his 11 BB. He is batting .408 with a .558 OBP and .563 SLG for a 1.121 OPS. Art Howe made the right move by batting him first and Reyes second, as he is more patient that Reyes, which is what a leadoff hitter needs to be. Duncan and Reyes provide a good and speedy 1-2 punch at the top of the order. Obviously, Duncan will not stay this good because the OBP is getting in Barry Bonds territory and he's not Barry Bonds. He did have a .376 OBP in the minors at AA, showing his ability to get on-base is not a complete fluke.

The final item of the day comes from Dave at Major League Baseball Graphs, who provides this information in an E-mail.

"One thing about Kazmir. Today's Baseball America had an article about him in which it mentioned that he has to warm up a lot before games, because his body is not very flexible. That concerned me, and I actually shot off an e-mail to Will Carroll at Baseball Prospectus about it, asking him what he thought that might mean for his future. Will basically said that, as long as he continues a rigorous stretching exercise, he should be okay and not prone to a higher rate of injury."

As Dave does, I would believe what Will Carroll has to say, but its some interesting information, and probably should be something that the Mets keep a watch on.


Tuesday, July 22, 2003
 
I've been around almost one month (Actually tomorrow is a month...) and I've gotten a few e-mails, but not that many. I would always like to see more, but when I read my mail last night, I was surprised to find one there that had to do with my blog...

"Hi, Jeremy. Good job on the case for Brian Giles being the most underrated hitter in baseball. He is the type of hitter I like, too, and will definitely be the subject of a future article for my blog."

That would be from Richard Lederer. If you don't know who he is, he's the author of Rich's Weekend Baseball BEAT, a site that I check and read regularly, though most of its posts are on the weekend (hence the name). He does a lot of statistical analysis that just blows me away and love his last article on Griffey Jr.'s shot at the Hall of Fame. I urge you to check his site out... it will certainly enlighten you. (And I hope he does one that goes more in-depth on Brian Giles because I would certainly be interested.)

I'm also adding Only Baseball Matters to the sidebar along with Rich's Weekend Baseball BEAT. I'm attempting (slowly) to catch up with my links, but I only wanna put a few per day so I can actually mention I put them on the side. So go visit those sites and enjoy them.

The Mets won 8-6 yesterday as John Franco got his first save of the year. The bullpen held on to the lead and gave Aaron Heilman, who had a decent start, his first major league win. Jason Phillips hit a homer off Turk Wendell and Brandon Duckworth did not pitch well for the Phillies.

But the biggest Mets news of the day comes to me from D-Rays Blog, who reported that Scott Kazimir has been called up from the Capital City Bombers to the Florida State League and the St. Lucie Mets. It's still Single A, but higher Single A. I'm surprised Shea Daily and Michael's Mets Ramblings have not commented on this story as of yet, but I'm sure they will, so I'll let them take care of the importance of this move for Kazimir. (Yes, that is partly sarcastic.)

Now on to the short statistical part... After Mike Stanton's pitiful outing on Sunday, I decided to look at some stats, seeing if maybe the Yankees knew something. I decided to take his last two years with the Yankees and this year with the Mets... here are his W-L, ERA, WHIP stats.

2001- 9-4, 2.58 ERA, 1.36 WHIP
2002- 7-1, 3.00 ERA, 1.29 WHIP
2003- 2-4, 5.87 ERA, 1.43 WHIP

Well, first off, I got lucky because those just happened to be his two best years with the Yankees. This year is obviously the worst of the seasons. The 2001 and 2002 years are close, one a better ERA, one has a little better WHIP. So then I decided to look a little more in-depth at the stats.

2001- 80.1 IP, 4 HR, 29 BB, 78 K
2002- 78 IP, 4 HR, 28 BB, 44 K
2003- 23 IP, 3 HR, 9 BB, 14 K

Obviously the HR's are up this year, but that's not the glaring thing here. It's the strikeouts. His K/9 and K/BB plummeted after 2001 and continues to this year (If you average out 2003 to 78 IP you get 31 BB for 47 K, similar to 2002.) Let's take a look at the stats in averages and then compare them to his career stats.

2001- 8.74 K/9, 2.69 K/BB, .263/.330/.365 OPS- .696, .45 HR/9
2002- 5.08 K/9, 1.57 K/BB, .256/.312/.361 OPS- .673, .46 HR/9
2003- 5.48 K/9, 1.56 K/BB, .264/.324/.407 OPS- .730, 1.17 HR/9
Career- 7.46 K/9, 2.22 K/BB, .254/.319/.373 OPS- .693, .78 HR/9

His K/9 and K/BB have dropped way below his career averages the last two years. So if the Mets had seen this, they would have realized that he was not pitching as well as it seemed. In 2002, he was able to get by because his OPS against and hits against were so low. Whether that was by luck, the park he played, defense, himself, or a little bit of all of it, that helped him to be able to pitch well despite the drop of in K/9 and K/BB. In 2001, his OPS against was very similar to his career numbers, but his K/9 and K/BB were higher, leading him to a 2.58 ERA, way below his career average of 3.83. In 2003, his K/9 and K/BB have been low again, except his OPS against is 37 points higher. That is mostly contributed by his 34 point jump in SLG against, which is a product of the HR's he's given up. He is way above his career average this season in HR/9 and his 2001 and 2002 season were way below.

What does this tell us? Even though its a small sample size for this year, he has obviously lost something off his stuff that has made him less of a strikeout pitcher. That has led to the jump in power numbers put up against him. If he can't regain those strikeouts, it looks like Mike Stanton might be on a downward spiral in his career.

Personally, I don't think he'll ever pitch as good as he did in 2002 with these strikeout numbers, but I also believe he won't pitch as bad as he has this season. I see him somewhere about a middle 4 ERA for the rest of his career. Servicable, but not a domiant lefty out of the pen anymore.

(Also, don't be surprised if I'm messing with my template and fonts for the next couple of days...)

Monday, July 21, 2003
 
Mets get swept: I didn't see yesterday's game, but from the highlights, I'm pretty sure I didn't want to see it. Check out Shea Daily for a complete recap of the four game series.

Other than that, I noticed that my hits on this site are cut in half over the weekend from 50 (mostly around there) to 70 (Thanks Aaron!) during the week to 25 on the weekend. With that thought in mind, I suggest that you go back to my Saturday post and read my article on Why Brian Giles is the most underrated hitter in baseball. Enjoy it, I think its one of my better ones.

Sunday, July 20, 2003
 
Glavine stunk yesterday (but not in the first inning!) and the Mets lose. I feel the broom coming.

On to other news, involving the Detroit Tigers. Nate Cornejo had a no hitter through 6 2/3 innings in a 2-0 game. Then, much like Mike Maroth this season, it all went wrong. Paul Konerko, with his amazing .202 BA singles. No hitter gone. Jose Valentin singles. First and second, Joe Crede up. Joe Crede bloop single to center, Konerko scores, 1st and 3rd, Olivo up. Daubach pinch hitting. Jamie Walker comes in for Cornejo. It's OK, he's still in line for the win. Then, Graffinino pinch hits for Daubach. You just knew Graffinino would go deep. He did, over the left field fence. ChiSox leading 4-2, Cornejo 3 ER, in line for the loss. They end up losing, Cornejo goes from no hitter to loss. Oh, the life of a Detriot Tiger.

In one final note, according to Steve Trachsel's agent, he has told Trachsel that the Mets front office has told him they willl not trade him this year. Interesting, though I hope Duquette didn't turn down anythng good from Boston.


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